UK Leads US in Retailers Staying Ahead of Instant Payments Game

UK Leads US in Retailers Staying Ahead of Instant Payments

With the rise of online shopping, in-store retailers are under pressure to make innovation in real-time payment alternatives and omnichannel marketing — strengths of eCommerce — mandatory in order to retain customer loyalty.

For those in the United States and the United Kingdom, this has meant making different investments in payments innovation, according to “Retail Payments Innovation Year in Review: How Real-Time Payments Drive the in-Store Customer Journey,” a PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide collaboration. More than half of retailers likely innovated available payment methods last year.

The report was based on surveys of 300 retailers in the U.S. and U.K. and examined how retailers implemented new payment strategies to maintain customer loyalty last year as well as the digital tools and technologies they currently use and their future innovation plans.

Overall, the report showed that U.S. and U.K. retailers are working to further support real-time payments, but U.K. retailers are ahead of the game. Only 2.6% of American retailers compared to 6% of British merchants said they want to improve support for real-time payments in the next three years. Similarly, 33% and 43% of U.S. and U.K. merchants, respectively, reported their desire to add support for instant payments.

Read more: Over Half US and UK Retailers Embrace Real-Time Payments

Retailers planned improvements of additions

The research also revealed that “real-time payments and loyalty programs are intrinsically linked for many retailers, as they enable ongoing customer engagement right at the point of sale.” That finding could play in the favor of U.K. merchants if their plans to develop innovations for loyalty programs and refunds materialize.

A previous PYMNTS study, also created in collaboration with ACI Worldwide, showed that adoption of digital coupons and rewards is higher in the U.K. than it is in the U.S., with 63% of British shoppers using at least one grocery store loyalty program. In contrast, only 54% of U.S. shoppers surveyed said the same.

In addition, 44% of Brits said they spend more at a grocery store that offers a loyalty program, while 45% said the presence of a loyalty program plays a role in where they shop.

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